Men’s, women’s soccer teams push to unify as one program


During the Whitney Kids Camp on July 24, Maddy Cortez, Mikayla Barkve and Connor Hedman practice passing with the participants. Photo by Britney Flint.

As both the men’s and women’s soccer season starts, varsity coaches Ana Jones and Joel Williams focus on unifying all levels of the program.

With such large emphasis on supporting each other, players attend each other’s games in order to cheer each other on.

“Our coaches highly encourage us to attend each other’s games. It really helps us to know someone is cheering us so we feel the pressure to play better,” Elvis Aviles said.

Also, the two teams this year are doing some of their team bonding together. On Nov. 17, both teams went to Strikes Unlimited as their team bonding event.

“It just made it feel like a family. We were all supporting each other even though half of us can’t bowl for our lives. I think that it really fits the mold of what our school is trying to do,” Mikayla Barkve said.

Additionally, both teams did their fundraising events together. Over the summer, they held a kids camp to introduce kids to the soccer program. They also helped sell fireworks together in order to raise funds for equipment.

“Having both teams at the firework booth helped to raise the morale and made the experience a lot more enjoyable. They helped us to wave the signs and get attention of the cars to sell more fireworks, ” Nick Reis said.

Ultimately, the coaches are pushing to eventually be seen as one unit, one family, one Whitney.

Barkve said, “Ana always tells us that we are one family, and we cannot be a family if we are separated.”